Rick Henderson (Xbox One) Review with stream

Not to be confused with Rickey Henderson of MLB fame, Rick Henderson is a 16-bit horizontal shooter now available on PC and all modern consoles for $7.99.  It might have a strange name but the gameplay is rather familiar.

The gimmick behind this shmup is the endless gameplay. Not a roguelite, the game just keeps going until you die. Don’t worry though as the challenge is pretty steep and I was only able to clear a few levels before game over. There are three playable ships each with their own pros and cons so there is extra replayablity here.

The other gimmick comes from the weapon system. Each face button is assigned a specific attack. Missiles, for example, are slow but powerful against larger foes. The laser shots work well against shields but tends to be a little weaker. The machine gun fire is ideally used against smaller, non-shielded enemies.  Switching between types of projectiles isn’t instant so you’ll need to be mindful when the screen is full of enemies. This rock-paper-scissors weapon system isn’t as deep as it could be. While the game tells you that your blue bullets are good against shielded foes in the tutorial, I couldn’t really tell the different when blowing them away with standard machine gun fire. Sure, maybe that one gun works just a bit better than another, it won’t really matter once you power up that one cannon that shoots in a way that works best for that level.

Each background is filled with stars, nebulas, and other stellar things to really enhance the space theme and it works well. The gameplay is also straightforward but has just enough in the tank for shooter fans to take note. Part of what makes this game mindlessly playable is the seemingly overpowered weapon system. You are basically flying a cheap aluminum can but the firepower than explodes out of your craft is stupidly fun for some reason. Pumping out machinegun fire or littering the screen with blue laser bullets just feels good – a tiny ship doing big things. At the end of the day, it is nowhere near the best shooter ever created but it is one that is simply playable, straight-fowardly enjoyable, and mindlessly allocated with casual fun.

SCORE: 6/10

Not As Good As: Spacewing War

Also Try: Hell Pages

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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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